Dr. Stanislaus (Stanny) Patrao

By Dr. Kranti K. Farias

Dr. Stanislaus Patrao was born on March 25, 1899, in Kallianpur, South Kanara.  His early education was at St. Aloysius College, Mangalore.  He completed his Intermediate Science, where he stood first, from St. Xavier’s College, Bombay.  He was the only student to hold a triple graduate qualification in Medicine and Surgery from Grant Medical College, Bombay.  He was the first student to get the degree in the Department of Anatomy and Embryology, a First Class with Distinction, and here he started the Branch of Comparative Anatomy and its Museum, winning several prestigious prizes.  
Dr. Patrao was a benefactor to the community in Bombay and in Kanara; to the Kanara Catholic Association, Bombay; and to his beloved Alma Mater, St. Aloysius College, Mangalore.  Dr. Patrao’s donation towards the entire panelling of the walls in the KCA Hall is to be appreciated.
Dr. Patrao was unanimously elected the President of the Association at the 62nd AGM, held on April 13, 1975, as proposed by Dr. Fabian Fernandes for KCA’s Diamond Jubilee Year. Dr. Patrao gave an enthusiastic start to the KCA Diamond Jubilee Scholarship Fund to enable deserving students to pursue higher studies.
Dr. Patrao was re-elected President at the AGM, held on December 11, 1977, in anticipation of the Centenary Year Celebrations (1978-1980) of St. Aloysius College, with Rev. Fr. Matthew Lewis S.J. as Rector. The entire Council of KCA was also re-elected, with Mrs. Kranti Farias as Hon. Secretary, and Mr. Louis Tauro as Hon. Treasurer.  Three programmes for fund raising were organised, the climax being the St. Aloysius College Centenary Ball on January 26, 1980.
His dear wife, Aileen, who stood by him through thick and thin was a great support.  She, herself, had served several terms in the Managing Council of KCA.  Dr. Patrao was a good family man, strict yet benevolent with their seven children, all well placed in life.  He loved outdoor games, and loved golf in particular, and was the oldest and most active golfer in the city, having won many a trophies.
Dr. Patrao was President of Dr. A L Nair Trust.  The Dean of B Y L Nair Hospital, Dr. M S Kekre called Dr. Patrao ‘the architect of the modern Nair Hospital’.  He formed a Trust for people affected with Hansen’s Disease (leprosy), and was its President.  The poor and the needy got treated at the Jane Patrao Charitable Hospital, which he started in memory of his mother at Moreland Road, Byculla.
Dr. Patrao could not tolerate indiscipline and inefficiency.  Dr. Vaze, his former student, said he would snap at a mistake made, but would soon forget it.  The great doctor believed to make a mistake is understandable, but to repeat it was not forgivable. 
On March 26, 1979, on the occasion of his 80th birthday, at a public function organised by the Bombay Chapter of Association of Surgeons of India, presided by the Committee President Mr. S K Patil, the Chief Guest Mr. Sadik Ali, Governor of Bombay, presented to Dr. Patrao an address in a silver casket, and a cheque of Rs. 50,000.  Here, a well wisher also donated Rs. 5,000.  Dr. Patrao said he would use the money to aid leprosy and other patients.
At the celebration for his friends, Mr. Charles Mascarenhas, freedom fighter and comrade of M N Roy and a cousin of Dr. Patrao, compared him to Susrutha, the greatest surgeon of ancient India, in 6th Century B.C.
The General Body of the KCA at its 65th AGM, held on February 27, 1983, unanimously passed a resolution to unveil the photo of Dr. Patrao at the function of January 29, 1984, during the tenure of the Presidency of Mr. Wilfred Tellis.
Dr. Patrao’s passing away on November 12, 1988, was deeply mourned.
We would do well to remember “God does not ask about our ability or our inability, but our availability”. (The Arkansas Baptist).  
This is the hallmark of the life of Dr. Patrao – his availability to people around and about him!

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Founded in 1901, the Kanara Catholic Association (KCA), Mumbai is the premier community organization of the Mangalorean Catholic community of Mumbai.  With approximately 800 members on its rolls, the KCA has a rich legacy of service to the community & society at large. 

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